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Protestants at 500 Years: The Best-Known Female Reformer

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In this year, which marks the five-hundredth anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation, many are focusing on the male reformers. But Germany is also focused on some of the females.  Though quite influential, they are often forgotten. And we can learn much from their lives. I’m thinking of one in particular.

Come back in time with me to about 1499 in what we know today as eastern Germany—then called Saxony. And picture a girl born to a noble family. When she turns five, her mother dies and her father sends her to a cloister.  There she receives a nun’s education.

When she is about 24, she and some of her friends—aware of the reform movement and dissatisfied with their lives in the monastery—seek to flee. Like so many others, they haven’t  taken vows of celibacy due to calling, but due to a parent’s decision (sometimes for reasons of …

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